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CALLING 911

HELP WILL ARRIVE FASTER IF YOU KNOW WHAT TO SAY

Know When to Call

911 IS MEANT FOR TRUE EMERGENCIES

sign saying call 911

KEEP CALM; HELP IS ON THE WAY

It seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Isn’t it as easy as picking up a phone and pressing the buttons 9, 1 and 1? Turns out there’s more to know about making that phone call.

First of all, only call 911 if you have a true emergency. If you need information, you can dial 411. If you have medical questions, call your doctor as a first step. If you have medications that need refilling, that’s best done by calling your pharmacy. None of these are true emergencies. True emergencies are when a situation is beyond your control, and best managed by a first responder, like chest pain, a house fire, etc.

HAVE IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON HAND

This will save precious seconds in an emergency.

  1. WHERE are you? If you’re calling from home, that’s easy. But what if you’re at the grocery store or the Post Office? Do you know those addresses off hand? Before you call, quickly look for cross streets or other landmarks to share with emergency responders so they can find you fast.
  2. WHAT is the nature of your emergency? 911 operators in Los Angeles are trained first responders. They’ll ask you questions about your situation. Answer them calmly and quickly. They need to determine the nature of your emergency so they can send the right resources. Once help is on the way, you can fill them in on other important details.
  3. DON’T hang up and listen to instructions. Chances are you’ll stay on the phone with the 911 operator while help is sent to you. Listen to the operator’s instructions and follow them as best you can. With their help, you could become the rescuers until professional help arrives.
  4. KEEP CALM. It’s hard, we know. It’s an emergency after all. But if you stay calm, listen to instructions and answer questions, emergency resources will be on their way to you sooner.

Finger dialing number on mobile phone

MOBILE PHONES HAVE CHANGED EVERYTHING

Do you have a mobile phone? We hope you do. They are not only convenient, but an excellent safety device. Having a way to communicate with your family, caregiver, or emergency help at all times, no matter where you are, is important. And safe! If you get a mobile phone that has a GPS tracking feature, emergency help can find you, even if you can’t communicate on your mobile device.

But there is one caveat. Keep in mind, if you call 911 from your mobile phone, most 911 dispatchers can’t triangulate your position on a mobile phone. If you call on a landline in Los Angeles, the city has reverse 911, which means the address of that landline is immediately known to the dispatch center. Using your mobile means you have to TELL the dispatcher where you are and specifically as you can. This is where situational awareness is so crucial. Always know where you are, and be aware of the exact address, or a landmark that will help first responders find you.

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